Agents Of Frustration

Rant time, generalisations ahoy.

Why is it that anyone with the word “agent” in their job title ends up being more of an obstacle than an enabler? The word “agent” is defined (amongst other things) as “a representative who acts on behalf of other persons or organizations“. They act on your behalf. They enable, they are the go-to, the go-between.

So why is it that once again my dealings with an agent leave me feeling like I am doing all the work, all the chasing, taking all the time? For the fourth month in a four-month career, my letting agent has not paid me the rent on my old London flat. In the meantime, my mortgage payment has gone out of my account, leaving me with a hair’s width of overdraft limit left.

I hate saying this but I pay them to do their job, to allow me to sit back and relax and not have to worry. Instead, I can’t relax, I have to worry every month and send emails around the world and worry about being charged fees by my bank.

When I was getting ready to move to the US, I spoke to some friends who were letting out a property in London, and they recommended avoiding letting agents and doing the work themselves. What they said made perfect sense, except I can’t be doing all that from California. That’s what agents are for. Yes, it costs more, but you pay so that you don’t have to do it yourself (I’ve taken to having my work shirts laundered for the same reason – ironing would otherwise take an entire evening, and I hate ironing).

And so we come to the current situation, where I pay an agent to do something, but they don’t and I end up having to chase and remind them every time. It really f**king pisses me off.

There you go. A nice, simple rant about a specific thing. Estate agents are the same in my experience.